The long weekend of Labor Day means something special to most Seattle residents; not only signifying the dying days of summer, but also that it is a time to go see great music and amazing art at Bumbershoot. This three-day internationally known event draws in the biggest names in various artistic arenas from around the world while also supporting local artists by giving them a crowded venue in which to display their work. Drawing from corner to corner of the world to bring in artists and musicians, the festival stretches the narrow spectrum of arts that most people consider, by collecting a large variety of mediums in one place. The word ‘bumbershoot’ actually means umbrella, however, the end of the summer is one of the few times one is rarely needed in Seattle, so residents and visitors rush outdoors for the festival to celebrate in the sun.

Each year for the three days of the festival, the 74-acre grounds of Seattle Center are packed with fans of the various types of music and arts. Each evening a national headlining musician plays a spectacular show in Memorial Stadium, the only portion of the festival that requires an extra ticket, though it is still covered in the general admittance price. The many music stages have themes, sometimes sponsored by radio stations or other companies, while the paths and opens spaces on the grass are filled in with buskers, street performers and the occasional drum circle or group of barefoot dancers enjoying the ambience.

In addition to the music, there is a comedy festival, often site of some of the longest lines, film festivals, including the organizing company’s namesake One Reel festival and a display of posters, called Flatstock. A section of the festival highlights spoken word and poetry performances, dance and theater, and even has a component called Youngershoot, catering towards younger attendees.

Though Bumbershoot has morphed and grown through the years, it is still a valued celebration of the arts, and Seattleites treasure it as a great excuse to stick around for the holiday weekend and enjoy great weather and amazing arts programming.

Read more: www.bumbershoot.org